Trading Liberty for Safety

Raven Clabough

If we allow this pattern to continue, Franklin will not only have been wise, but a prophet.

I often wonder how the United States will be remembered in textbooks and in history classes centuries, or even decades, from now. Wherein will the blame lie for the decline of a once great prosperous and free nation? Because, let’s face it, long gone are the days of a limited Constitutional republic, and in its place is a Big Brother Leviathan that has slowly stripped away our liberties and freedoms, all under the promise of security in their stead.

But how, one wonders, did such a dramatic transformation take place, almost entirely with the permission of the American people? The answer is simple: the government has sold us fear, and we have purchased it with our freedoms.

America’s Founding Fathers slaved for years over constitutional debate in order to conceive of a government wherein power is scarcely centralized. The goal was to prevent absolute power from corrupting the individuals in power by limiting the authority that is assigned to those individuals.

But government is inherently self-serving and self-perpetuating, and therefore the American republic has been under attack virtually since its construction.

And those seeking to secure more power became well aware that they would have to chip away at the strict limitations set forth in the United States Constitution by convincing the American people that the Constitution is a living, breathing document that must conform to the times. And these times, according to the powers that be, are characterized by constant threats and fear.

Literature in a Locked Down Land

William T. Hathaway

Working class literature is alive and well and living in prison. It is "well" not in the sense of being contented and happy but rather of being vital and impassioned. And it is imprisoned not just in the sense of being locked behind bars but also of being locked into poverty. Some prisons have walls of iron and stone, others walls of economics and racism. It is their efforts to escape from this second prison that get most inmates incarcerated in the first. As Mumia Abu-Jamal said, "I've been in prison my whole life."

The life-constricting pressures in both types of prisons can crush some psyches and produce diamonds of art and wisdom in others. Struggle: A Magazine of Revolutionary Proletarian Literature has been publishing the diamonds (along with some glass) since 1985. Reading it is to rediscover the power of art to give us insights and inspire us to action, an invigorating change from the vapid musings and trivial subjectivity that pass for "literary" these days. By showing us the multi-layered oppression surrounding us and the strength of the human spirit caught within that, Struggle is contributing to a culture of resistance and eventually of revolution.

Disinformation On Every Front

Paul Craig Roberts

Serving the Matrix is where lie the rewards. Those who oppose the Matrix are the outcasts.

Some readers have come to the erroneous conclusion that the Matrix consists of Republican Party disinformation as if there is no disinformation from the left. Others think that propaganda is the business of Obama and the Democrats. In fact, propaganda from the right, the left and the middle are all part of the disinformation fed to Americans.

If I may give some examples: The other day Chuck Colson, one of the Nixon officials imprisoned for Watergate crimes, died. This gave NPR the opportunity to relive the Nixon horror.

What precisely was the Nixon horror? Essentially, there was no such thing. Watergate was about President Nixon lying about when he learned about the Watergate burglary.

When Nixon learned about the burglary, he did not act on it prior to his reelection, because he reasoned, rightly, that the Washington Post would blame him for the burglary, although he had nothing to do with it, in the hopes of preventing his reelection.

By going along with a cover-up, Nixon enabled the Washington Post to make an issue of the precise date on which Nixon learned of the burglary. White House tapes indicated that Nixon had learned of the burglary before he said he learned of it. So Nixon had permitted a cover-up and had to go, but what was the real reason?

What was the Watergate burglary? We don’t really know. A group of men including former CIA operatives were hired by the Committee to Re-elect the President to break into a Democratic campaign office in the Watergate complex. We don’t know the purpose of the burglary. Some claim it was to wire-tap the telephones in the belief that the Democratic Party was getting re-election money from communists in Cuba or elsewhere. Others claim that the burglars were looking for a list of call girls, that compromised a White House official, as his fiancee was allegedly one of the call girls.

Looking back from our time during which Bush and Obama have deep-sixed the US Constitution, violated numerous US and international laws, and behaved as if they were caesars unconstrained by any law or any morality, Nixon’s “crimes” appear so trivial as to be unremarkable. Yet, Nixon was driven from office and is regarded as a criminal.

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